03 MARCH 2017, AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

WeTransfer announced as one of the Founding Partners of the 'University of the Underground'

Part of the company’s long term commitment to supporting Arts & Education

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Summary
WeTransfer is proud to announce that it is one of the Founding Partners of the ambitious and innovative education program, the University of the Underground. Led by designer and WeTransfer’s Chief of Experiences Nelly Ben Hayoun, the University of the Underground, run in collaboration with Amsterdam's Sandberg Instituut, offers a unique postgraduate curriculum which encourages students to use multidisciplinary design thinking to make a difference in the world. The involvement in this unique master’s program dovetails with WeTransfer’s long term commitment to supporting arts and education.

Today, WeTransfer is unveiling the next chapter in its mission to support the creative industries. The file transfer service is proud to announce that it is one of the Founding Partners of the ambitious and innovative education program, the University of the Underground.

Led by designer and WeTransfer’s Chief of Experiences Nelly Ben Hayoun, the University of the Underground, run in collaboration with Amsterdam's Sandberg Instituut, offers a unique postgraduate curriculum which encourages students to use multidisciplinary design thinking to make a difference. The involvement in this unique master’s program dovetails with WeTransfer’s long term commitment to supporting arts and education.

"WeTransfer has been a pioneer in ethics and artistically responsible marketing among all digital companies. However, today they go one step further, into unprecedented territory, by pledging their long-term support for a new kind of education. At the University of the Underground, we don't only collaborate, we like to establish partners in crime. We believe in unconventional research practices, and we know that change can take time,” says Nelly Ben Hayoun. “We don't just believe in this new generation, but we also want to support the next one and the one after – we are committed to hundreds more years of education. For the University of the Underground we have established a pluridisciplinary team of "daydreamers" that, like us, believe that they can manufacture the impossible and support social dreaming, power shifts in our societies through the use of digital culture, experiential practices and immersive storytelling. We are delighted to have WeTransfer on board as a key part of that team."

As the cost of education around the world continues to rise, each student will receive a full scholarship to cover their tuition fees. The program will be led by a multidisciplinary team of experts, artists and scholars, with an advisory board including Metropolitan Museum curator Beatrice Galilee, award winning author and McSweeney’s founder Dave Eggers, XL Recordings’ Phil Lee and Fiona Raby, Professor of Design and Emerging Technologies at The New School. WeTransfer’s President and CMO Damian Bradfield is Chairman of the Board. Students can apply for the first 15 positions until April 1, 2017.

WeTransfer’s commitment to supporting Arts & Education

Since it was founded in 2009, WeTransfer has supported the creative communities by globally giving away 30% of the background imagery – advertising space worth millions of dollars – to creative projects. Through WeTransfer Studios, the company has partnered with some of the world’s leading creative voices, like FKA twigs, McSweeney's, World Press Photo and The Royal Academy of Arts. The content platform This Works tells the stories behind the creative work on the wallpapers, giving a voice to, often undiscovered, talent.

In 2014 WeTransfer started its first bursary programme with Central Saint Martins and earlier this year, the company announced it is offering free premium WeTransfer Plus accounts to all Creative Arts students in the United States, in order to support the creative leaders of tomorrow.

Damian Bradfield, CMO WeTransfer and Chairman of the Board of the University of the Underground: “We are so proud to be involved in this unique program that’s all about planting roots for a better future and changing the world through creativity. Today's creative students are tomorrow's artistic leaders, and now more than ever we need to stand up and take responsibility in fighting for arts and education. It is WeTransfer’s mission to enable the sharing of creative ideas, and we have the platform, the networks and the determination to help Nelly and her team realize this thrillingly ambitious and much-needed vision.”

Nelly Ben Hayoun will discuss the launch of the University of the Underground with Michael Bierut on the Simulcast Stage at Design Indaba, on Friday March 3.

All image credit: University of the Underground, visual artist Marta Giralt, ©NellyBenHayounStudiosLtd

Note to editors:
For interview requests or images please contact annematt@wetransfer.com For more information please visit:

http://universityoftheunderground.org/

http://nellyben.com/

Quotes
"We are so proud to be involved in this unique program that’s all about planting roots for a better future and changing the world through creativity. Today's creative students are tomorrow's artistic leaders, and now more than ever we need to stand up and take responsibility in fighting for arts and education. It is WeTransfer’s mission to enable the sharing of creative ideas, and we have the platform, the networks and the determination to help Nelly and her team realize this thrillingly ambitious and much-needed vision." Damian Bradfield, CMO WeTransfer, Chairman of the Board at University of the Underground.
"WeTransfer has been a pioneer in ethics and artistically responsible marketing among all digital companies. However, today they go one step further, into unprecedented territory, by pledging their long-term support for a new kind of education. At the University of the Underground, we don't only collaborate, we like to establish partners in crime. We believe in unconventional research practices, and we know that change can take time. We don't just believe in this new generation, but we also want to support the next one and the one after – we are committed to hundreds more years of education. For the University of the Underground we have established a multidisciplinary team of "daydreamers" that, like us, believe that they can manufacture the impossible and support social dreaming, power shifts in our societies through the use of digital culture, experiential practices and immersive storytelling. We are delighted to have WeTransfer on board as a key part of that team." Nelly Ben Hayoun, Designer and WeTransfer’s Chief of Experiences
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    Annematt Ruseler

    Global Director of Communications
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About WeTransfer

WeTransfer makes tools to move ideas. Founded in 2009 in Amsterdam as a simple, well-designed file sharing service for the creative community, WeTransfer has grown to include tools that scale across the creative spectrum, including editorial platform WePresent (with 2M monthly readers), mobile app 'Collect by WeTransfer' (with 4M monthly users), quick slide-making tool Paste® (with 40,000 active teams), immersive sketching tool Paper® (with more than 25M downloads), and the original web platform with 50M monthly users and over a billion files sent each month.

From the beginning, WeTransfer has prioritized bringing “offline” values - trust, transparency, and ethics - online. This means having a responsible data policy and tools that don’t distract people from their creative flow. WeTransfer has pioneered a new means of online advertising, resulting in the platform’s full-page wallpapers, designed by our award-winning in-house creative studio. Advertisers include industry-leading brands like Apple, Saint Laurent, Google, Balenciaga, Samsung, Netflix, Adidas, and Squarespace.

Since its founding, WeTransfer has proudly supported the creative communities and given up to 30% of advertising space to support the arts, donating over 5 billion impressions in 2017. Through our ongoing advertising grant program and content platform, WePresent, we have partnered with hundreds of groundbreaking artists and organizations, including Björk, King Krule, FKA twigs, Ryan McGinley, Ami Vitale, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the UN Development Program, the World Wildlife Foundation and the Prince Estate. In 2016, WeTransfer launched the world’s first free Masters of the Arts in design thinking with the University of the Underground and Worldwide FM, the global radio station run by legendary BBC DJ Gilles Peterson.

Following a $25 million investment from Highland Europe in 2015, WeTransfer opened a US office in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, to add to the Amsterdam headquarters. In 2018, WeTransfer acquired popular creative apps Paper® and Paste® and expanded its US presence to Seattle and New York City.

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